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Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company (Signed by William Boyd Allison)


SKU: 6142
Product Details

Intricately engraved antique stock certificate from the Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company dating back to the 1860's. This document, which is signed by William Boyd Allison as the company President as well as the company Secretary, was a printed by E. S. Skinner & Co., Stationers and measures approximately 10 1/2" (w) by 7" (h).

The vignette features a train steaming across a steel bridge.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

Historical Context

The Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company was originally founded in 1868. The company operated the original Dubuque Rail Bridge, a swing bridge constructed by Andrew Carnegie. The bridge opened in December of 1868, and was primarily used by the Illinois Central Railroad.

The Dubuque Rail Bridge was rebuilt in the 1890s and has 5 spans and a swing-span. Because of a 150-foot bluff very close to the Mississippi riverbank on the Illinois side, the railroad tracks enter a 1/4-mile tunnel that curves 90-degrees to the south to allow trains to proceed along the tracks adjacent to the river south of the bridge.

At least two famous men at one time worked for this important railroad bridge company – James A. Roosevelt (FDR’s father) and General Caleb Hoskins Booth (who help found the company). Booth was one of Iowa’s most successful businessmen, and was the first mayor of Dubuque.

William Boyd Allison

William Boyd Allison's Signature


William Boyd Allison, a Representative and a Senator from Iowa, was born in Perry, Ohio on March 2, 1829; and attended country schools, the academy in Wooster, Ohio, and Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Western Reserve College, Hudson, Ohio (now in Cleveland), in 1849; studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1852. He commenced practice in Ashland, Ohio; and was an unsuccessful candidate for district attorney in 1856.

Allison settled in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1857 and resumed the practice of law; served as a lieutenant colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War; and was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-eighth, and to the three succeeding, Congresses (March 4, 1863-March 3, 1871). He was Chairman of the Expenditures in the Department of the Treasury (1869-71); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1870, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate. He then resumed the practice of law in Dubuque; and was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1872. Allison was reelected in 1878, 1884, 1890, 1896, and again in 1902, and served from March 4, 1873, until his death on August 4, 1908. During his tenure, Allison was the Republican Conference Chairman (Fifty-fifth to Sixtieth Congresses); Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Forty-fourth to Forty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Appropriations (Forty-seventh to Fifty-second, and Fifty-fourth to Sixtieth Congresses), Committee on Engrossed Bills (Fifty-third Congress) Allison died in Dubuque.